Deciding to create a prenuptial agreement before getting married can be stressful and intimidating. It might seem like one of you is giving up on your marriage before it begins. It can be a challenging conversation, no matter how strong your bond is and how much you want your relationship to work.
However, a prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean you think your marriage will fail. Instead, it outlines multiple issues and how you’ll handle them if you divorce. You’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. When it comes to divorce, preparation is essential.
Below are the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement to help you decide what’s best for your future.
Pros of a Prenuptial Agreement
You can benefit significantly from a prenup under specific circumstances. It can preserve your rights and protect you during divorce proceedings if that becomes necessary.
The pros of a prenup include:
- Safeguard your assets – You can protect your assets with a well-drafted prenuptial agreement. Some people have high-value or multiple assets. Since New York is an equitable distribution state, the court will divide marital property based on what’s fair or equitable. That means your spouse could take your home, bank account, and other property you worked hard to earn. A prenup specifies the assets you want to retain if you get divorced.
- Protect business interests – Protecting your interests is crucial if you own a business. You can include the business and its assets in the prenup to prevent your spouse from assuming future ownership or shares of the profits.
- Secure your child’s future – If you and your future spouse share kids, a prenuptial agreement can protect them. Prenups aren’t only beneficial during a divorce. They can also help if one spouse dies. Including your children in the prenup ensures they are the beneficiaries of specific assets. If you have children from a prior relationship, you could outline assets that will be used for them in the event of a divorce, as well.
- Avoid debt – Marital debt is subject to equitable distribution just as marital assets are. That means you might take on your spouse’s debt if they acquire it during the marriage. You might avoid financial responsibility by including certain debts in the prenuptial agreement. For example, you can explicitly state that one spouse’s debt from going back to school is their sole responsibility instead of belonging to both spouses, even if the debt was rolled into the mortgage.
Cons of a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements are beneficial for many couples. However, they also come with disadvantages. The most common cons of prenups include:
- Doubt about the future – Initiating a discussion about a prenuptial agreement often creates doubt between the couple. One might think the conversation means the other doesn’t believe the marriage will last.
- Destroys romance – Talking about the terms of a prenup is anything but romantic. You’re negotiating property division and other important issues. You might feel like a prenuptial agreement will destroy the romance in your relationship.
- Creates distrust – Although future spouses might trust each other, a conversation about a prenup can create distrust in the relationship. It might stir up strong negative emotions and create tension. One person might think the other is trying to hide assets. Drafting the agreement can also show your significant differences in approaching a divorce if you get one, causing you to rethink marrying.
Contact an Experienced New York City Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
Determining whether a prenuptial agreement is a good idea is challenging. If the worst-case scenario plays out, you want to protect yourself but don’t want to hurt your significant other’s feelings. If your partner brings up the discussion, it can seem like it’s coming out of nowhere and cause you to doubt your future together.
Either way, it’s an entirely personal decision. You should do what you believe is beneficial for you. The Mandel Law Firm can help with the process and draft a legally enforceable prenuptial agreement on your behalf. Call (646) 770-3868 or contact us online for a confidential consultation today if you want to learn more about prenups.